10 Unhealthy Habits You Need to Break Now (Page 7)

Choosing a Particular Food Because of a Healthy-Sounding Claim

6. Choosing a Particular Food Because of a Healthy-Sounding Claim

More and more food labels are sporting health benefits on their labels. Think: fat-free, trans-fat-free, gluten-free, etc. If such claims lure you in, know that just because a product lacks fat or gluten doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier. For example, fat-free products sometimes deliver more sugar than their fat-containing counterparts. And eating certain fat-free foods may even cause you to gain weight: in a Purdue University study, rats fed potato chips containing Olean (a no-calorie, fat-free fat substitute) put on more weight than rats fed regular chips. More research is needed, but experts think fat substitutes may interfere with your body’s natural ability to regulate how much food is enough, causing you to eat more. The nutrients in gluten-free products can vary greatly. Some gluten-free breads have up to 13 times more fat and 16 times more protein than others, according to a recent study that compared 11 different gluten-free breads. So if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you may want to think twice before ditching gluten. Avoid being duped by a healthy-sounding label claim by comparing the Nutrition Facts Panels and ingredient lists across brands of the same food category.

Next: 7. Eating Lunch at Your Desk »

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